HAPPENINGS: Stories, oral traditions help retain family history

Janice Crose | Special to the News Bulletin

As families, not only have we have moved away from each other, but in many cases we now live clear across the country. Because of these long distances from our core families, we are losing some of our family stories and traditions.

In many families, not only do the family stories have a moral or a point, they also may teach family religious traditions, such as the Seder Passover, Easter and other holidays.

If we aren't careful, we may lose these family stories. We don't want to lose some of our traditions and important family history.

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This story doesn't matter to anyone outside our family, but it is still a fun story and a good learning experience.

My grandfather was the youngest of 10 children and was reared on a large farm in rural Missouri. His first cousin was six months younger than him.

They truly were best friends and managed to get into plenty of scrapes as kids. Nothing ever went unnoticed in their tiny town; his parents always found out about the shenanigans and mischief.

It was hot and humid in the Missouri summer, and there was no air conditioning when plowing, so these two cousins would take off as much clothing as they could get away with and still be decent to other farmers passing by, or church friends, while they plowed.

One Sunday after church, my 8-year-old grandfather rushed home to finish some plowing in order to sow seed the next morning.

He was so hot, he began to leave a trail of clothes at the end of the rows he was plowing. The amount of clothes he was wearing at the end compared to what he had begun with was noticeably smaller.

He figured he was fast and could race and get his clothes before his parents got home from church, which was true.

He didn't count on his cousin hiding his clothes. Somehow, his cousin figured out what time his grandparents would be getting home from church and took my grandfather's clothes and hid them. By this point he was about down to his underwear.

In the 20s, neither children nor adults undressed that much in public, so this was a matter of embarrassment to our grandfather.

He learned that one can't leave their clothing where someone else can take and hide it, and one must stay decently clothed, no matter how hot the weather or how fast a runner they might be.

I know there was much laughter over that one incident in our family as well as many more funny incidents. Start writing these stories down so you don't forget the memories.

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.